Saturday, 28 January 2017

SUMAN KALYANPUR-The voice often mistaken to be of Lata Mangeshkar

Remembering Suman Kalyanpur(Born on 28th Jan 1937) on her 80th Birthday today as a female Playback singer who was often mistaken by Lata's voice because of her uncanny similarity to Lata’s voice. Many of her songs are indistinguishable from Lata’s style
Suman Kalyanpur started singing in the Golden Era of Bollywood. This was also the time when female playback singing was dominated by the Mangeshkar sisters, more Lata than Asha (Bhosle). Though 
she was diligent, sharp and had a lovely voice but never was the first choice of Music Directors or Producers.She used to get chance when  Lata was unavailable, or if the producers could not afford her rate of Rs 100 per song, or if the song suffered because of her refusal to sing with Rafi over royalty issues.There were rumours also that Mangeshkar sisters specially Lata didnt wanted that she should be given songs in the films, Lata would sometimes refuse to sing with composers who chose Kalyanpur, and they couldn’t afford to upset Lata.
Suman Kalyanpur sang two duets with Lata before her own songs became popular. Kabhi aaj kabhi kal in the Balraj Sahni-starrer Chand (1959) was a Hemant Kumar composition.
 Suman Kalyanpur's father Shankar Rao Hemadi hailed from an elite Saraswat Brahmin family belonging to Mangalore, Karnataka. Hemmady is a village in Kundapur Taluk of Udupi District , Karnataka.Apart from father and mother Seeta Hemmady, there were 5 daughters and one son in the family with Suman being the eldest among her siblings.
 In 1943, her family moved to Mumbai, where she received her musical training.After completing schooling from Mumbai’s famed Columbia High School, She got admission in the prestigious Sir J. J. School of Arts for further studies in Painting. Simultaneously, she started learning classical vocal from Pune's Prabhat Films' music director and a close family friend, ‘Pandit Keshav Rao Bhole’
In 1952 she was offered to sing a song in All India Radio,that was her first public performance.Latter on
she got a chance to sing for the Marathi film 'Shukrachi Chandni' released in the year 1953. At that time, Sheikh Mukhtar was making the film 'Mangu' whose composer was ‘Mohammed Shafi’. Sheikh Mukhtar was so impressed with her ‘Shukrachi Chandni’ songs, that he got her to sing 3 songs for the film ‘Mangu’. However, due to some unknown reasons, later ‘O.P,Nayyar’ replaced ’Mohammed Shafi’ and only one of her 3 songs, a lullaby “Koi Pukaare Dheere Se Tujhe” was retained in the film. Thus, she entered Hindi cinema,Though Mangu was the first film she signed to sing but it was the film "Darwaja" which released earlier in 1954.
 In the same year (1954), Suman sang the film version of O.P.Nayyar’s hit ensemble song ‘Mohabbat Kar Lo Ji Bhar Lo Aji Kisne Roka Hai’ with Rafi and Geeta Dutt for the film ‘Aar Paar’. 
She was 16 and a student at JJ School of Art when singer Talat Mehmood heard her sing at a college function and “gave a lot of shabaashi”. He then put her in touch with recording company HMV. Though HMV producers found her voice “amateurish”, Kalyanpur got a song in Darwaaza (1954) and debuted with Talat (Ek dil, do hain talabgaar). The song made the film industry sit up and notice. This was followed by Chhodo chhodo mori baiyaan (Miya Bibi Raazi, 1960), Na tum humein jaano (Baat Ek Raat Ki, 1962), Mere sang ga (Janwar, 1965), Aajhuna aaye baalma (Saanjh aur Savera, 1963), Tumne pukaara aur hum chale aaye (Rajkumar, 1964) and several others.
She recorded some popular duets with male singers Mohammed RafiManna DeyMukeshTalat Mahmood, and Hemant Kumar. Some of her memorable duets with Rafi are "Aajkal Tere Mere Pyaar Ke Charche", "Na Na Karte Pyaar", "Tumse O Hasina", "Rahen Na Rahen Hum", "Parbaton Ke Pedon Par Shaam Ka Basera He", "Ajahuna Aye Balama", "Tumane Pukara Aur Hum Chale Aye", "Bad Muddat Ke Yeh Ghadi Ayee", "Mujhhe Yeh Bhool Na", "Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya", "Tujhko Dilbari Ki Kasam" and "Chand Takata Hai Idhar". With Manna Dey, she sang the popular duet "Na Jane Kahan Ham The" under the music direction of Dattaram. With Mukesh she has sung many popular duets like `Yeh Kisne geet chheda', "Akhiyon ka noor hai tu", "Mera Pyar bhi tu hai", "Dil ne phir yaad Kiya", "Shama se koi Kehde" etc.
Suman married a Mumbai based businessman Ramanand Kalyanpur in the year 1958 and thus, became Suman Kalyanpur from Suman Hemadi. He accompanied her for every recording session after her marriage.She lived in the joint family of her husband which was very conservative,her husband never allowed her to sing Cabret Songs,she never attended filmy parties,nor appeared in stage shows even not given interviews to the media,even Veteran radio artiste Ameen Sayani had to chase her for close to 45 years before he could record a one-hour show with her in 2005.
Suman Kalyanpur's career started in 1954 and was very popular singer in the 1960s and 1970s. She recorded songs for movies in several languages besides Hindi, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, Bengali, Oriya and Punjabi.She was a bit unfortunate as she never won the National Film Awards or Filmfare Award for singing but is still considered among the popular singers of her prime time. She has sung a total of 857 Hindi songs.
Here are  some of my favourite Solo as well as Duets of Suman Kalyanpur
Here is one particular song in which I think she seems to have clearly overshadowed Lata.Its from the 1964 film FARIYAAD "Haal-e-dil unko sunana tha sunaya na gaya "
Song from Fariyaad 1964

Song from Baat Ek Raat Ki 1962

This Song has 2 versions,one a solo by Lata and a Duet with Suman Kalyanpur
Song from Mamta 1966

Song from Sanjh Aur Savera (1964)

Song from Rajkumar 1964

Song from Jab Jab Phool Khile, 1965,

Song from Brahmchari, 1968

Song from Shama (1961)

Song from Resham Ki Dori (1974)

Song from Noormahal (1965)

Song from Miyan Biwi Raazi (1960)

Song from Dil hi to hai (1963)

Song from Shagoon (1964)

Song from Farz, 1967

Song from Ji Chahta hai, 1964

Song from Jahan Pyar Mile 1969

Song from Saathi (1968)

Song from Dil ne phir yaad Kiya 1966

Friday, 27 January 2017

Remembering Sardar Malik on his11th Death Anniversary

Sardar Malik,father of Anu Malik the famous Music Director of 90s was also a Music Director of Golden Era .His career as Music composer ran for many years but he was not considered as a hit Music Director by the Industry.Later he started teaching music.In an interview he said that whatever he possesed like House all came from the earnings from teaching.
Sardar Malik was married to Kausar jehan who was a sister of famous lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri,he had three sons-Anu Malik,Abu Malik and Dabbu Malik.He passed away on 27th Jan 2006.
Sardar Malik who was a trained dancer under the famed Uday Shankar at his residential school at Almora. He was a gifted singer and started getting both singing and composing assignments. Seeing the rise of independent playback singers such as Rafi and Mukesh, he realised he could not match them, and confined himself to music direction, and came over to Bombay.  He and Mohan Sehgal started their careers as dancers. They were appointed as dance direc­tors by Nanabhai Bhatt for a film titled 40 Crore This assignment didn't help him further to get more work.He continued performing with Uday Shankar’s troupe and it was here that his singing was noticed by Ramesh Sehgal, a director who gave him a Break as Music Director in "Renuka" released in 1947 in this movie he also sang 4 songs.,the song  Sunti nahin hai duniya fariyaad kisiki. was liked  but even after that his career was not moving.He  tried his hand in composing music for few more films like Ren Basera,Raaz but his luck was not favoring him,the movies for which he was composing were either not running or getting shelved.
His first hit song was" Ae ghame dil kya karoon" sung by Talat Mahmood in the film'Thokar" starring Shammi Kapoor.Next year1954 his film Aulad came,the movie had some great songs"Duniya Tasveer Hai"by Talat Mahmood and"Tum Salamat Raho Hazar baras'by Asha were very popular.same year another film"Chor Bazar"came out with beautiful songs by Lata,'Chalta Rahe Yeh Carvan"and'Dar Dar Ki Thokren Hain"were hit
Saranga's songs were very popular and it remains Sardar Malik's best composition.Specially the song"Saranga Teri Yaad Mein" sung by Mukesh is his immortal composition.
Here are some of my favourite Sardar Malik's unforgettable compositions as a Tribute to this great Music Director of Golden Era.
Song from Saranga 1960

Haan diwana hun main
Song from Saranga 1960

Ae ghame dil kya karoon
Song from Thokar 1953

Song from Laila Majnu 1953

Song from Aulad 1954 (Audio )

Song from Chor Bazar 1954

Song from Chor Bazar 1954

Song from Aab-e-Hayaat (1955)

Song from Mera Ghar Mere Bachche 1960

Song from Madan Manjari (1961) Audio only

Song from Bachpan (1963) Audio only

Song from Bachpan (1963) Audio only

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Kavita Krishnamurthy-A Technically Gifted Singer

Remembering today on her 59th Birthday as one of the most versatile and technically gifted female singers in the music-reliant Indian film industry.She was born on 25th Jan 1958 as Sharda Krishnamurthy in the South Indian family of Delhi, she came from an artistic background: Her father worked for the Education and Cultural Affairs Ministry, and her mother loved classical Indian music and dance, making sure that Kavita began taking lessons at a young age.
 Her Bengali aunt and uncle -- with whom young Kavita spent a great deal of time, to the point where she looked upon them as second parents -- influenced her to learn the Bengali style Rabindra Sangeet as well.
At the age of nine, she got an opportunity to record a Tagore song in Bengali with Lata Mangeshkar under the auspices of the music composer and singer Hemant Kumar. Later on she moved to Bombay when she was 14 to try her luck as a playback singer in the Hindi film industry.
She studied from  St. Xavier's College, Bombay from where she did her BA Honors Economics. She was very active in the St. Xavier's Music Group during her college days. During the annual college festival (Malhar), she met Ranu Mukherjee, the daughter of Hemant Kumar. Ranu took the initiative of reintroducing Kavita to her father.He was impressed by her grounding in music, so he began using her as a singer during his live performances. In one such performance, playback singer Manna Dey spotted her and employed her to sing advertisement jingles. Through her aunt's strong contacts, she met Jaya Chakravarthy, the mother of actress Hema Malini, who later took the initiative of introducing Kavita to the music director Laxmikant (one of the composer duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal) in late 1976.
It was Laxmikant Pyarelal,who gave her first break in hindi films from the film Maang Bharo Sajana, (1980) unfortunately the song was dropped from the final cut of the film.Next year in 1981 she was given a chance to sing a duet with Rafi in a film Ladies Tailor,that got unnoticed.She was getting songs every year in hindi films but her real Break came with Mr India's song "Hawa Hawai" and "Karte Hain Hum Pyaar Mr. India Se" in 1987.
Late 80s and 90s was the era of Kavita Krishnamurthy,she gave many hit songs during this period.Her performance as a singer in the film 1942: A Love Story, composed by R.D. Burman won her much popular acclaim.After that she was a leading Female Singer of Bollywood, YaraanaAgni SakshiBhairavi, and Khamoshi are notable films in which she gave hit songs.During this period she had tough competition with other female singers such as  Alka YagnikAnuradha Paudwal and Sadhana Sargam.
She got married to the famous Violinist Dr. L. Subramaniam in Bangalore on 11 November 1999, after that she got extremely selective and cut down on her film singing.
She  started expanding her artistic range to areas which were never explored. She was the main featured soloist in the Global Fusion album released by Warner Bros., featuring musicians from five continents. Although primarily a playback singer, Kavita has sung with orchestras as a soloist; she collaborated with Western artists from jazz, pop and classical fields.
She won four Filmfare Best Female Playback Singer Awards, including three consecutive awards in the period 1994–1996, and the Padmashri which she received in 2005.
Let's Celebrate her Birthday with enjoying some of her memorable songs.
Song from Mr India 1994

Song from 1942: A Love Story (1995)

Song from Yaraana (1995)

Song from Khamoshi (1996)

Song from Agni Sakshi 1996

Song from Dil Se 1998

Song from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai 1998

Song from Saaz 1998

Song from Hum Dil de Chuke Sanam 1999

Song from Gaja Gamini 2000

Song from Kya Kehna 2000

Song from Pukar 2000

Song from Zubeidaa 2000 (Audio)

Song from Devdas 2001

Song from Koi... Mil Gaya 2003

Sunday, 22 January 2017

VIJAY ANAND- A Writer, Director Ahead of His Time.

Remembering Vijay Anand also known as Goldie on his 83rd Birth Anniversary today  who was the visionary director of some of Bollywood’s most respected movies.
He was born on 22nd Jan 1934 in Gurdaspur Punjab,he was the youngest of the four Anand siblings, including producer and director Chetan Anand and Dev Anand.

He lost his mother when he was only seven, and he along with his other siblings went to live with his eldest brother Chetan and his wife Uma who raised him like their own child.
While still a teenager, he co-wrote the script with his sister-in-law Uma for his filmmaker brother Chetan Anand. The film was "Taxi Driver" (1954) where his other brother Dev Anand played the title role, and it was inspired by the crime thrillers of Hollywood. It was released through their home production company Navketan and became Goldie's first big hit.

 "Nau Do Gyarah" (1957) was Vijay Anand's directorial debut, which was based on his own script. The film starred his brother Dev Anand and Dev's wife Kalpana Kartik. It became another hit.
 His next film was the story of a black marketer and his redemption in "Kaala Bazaar" (1960). The film starred his brother Dev again, along with Waheeda Rehman. This was also the only film where all three brothers (Chetan, Dev, and Vijay Anand) acted together.The movie was a super hit.
In 1961 another hit movie came HUM DONO,the screenplay was written by him,it is said that he was the director of that film though Amarjeet's name appeared as Director.
In 1963  "Tere Ghar ke Saamne" (1963) with Dev Anand and Nutan was a romantic comedy that became another hit. 

His masterpiece as a filmmaker came with "Guide" (1965). Based on RK. Narayan's novel The Guide, the film is unforgettable for its bold themes about how a man (Dev Anand) and woman (Waheeda Rehman) live together outside the sanctity of a marriage. Composer S.D. Burman's songs were given stunning visuals. The film became a huge hit and won several major awards, including two Filmfare Awards for Vijay himself for directing and for writing the dialogue for the film. With Guide, Vijay Anand became the Hindi film industry's big star filmmaker.

In the next year  "Teesri Manzil" (1966) for producer and writer Nasir Husain. The film starred Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh and gave composer R.D. Burman (S.D. Burman's son) his first major success. 
In the next year(1967) another hit movie Jewl Thief released,Vijay Anand was at the pinnacle of his fame, it seemed like Vijay Anand can do no wrong. But his next film(Khin Aur Chal) proved otherwise. After three hit films in a row (Guide, Teesri Manzil, Jewel Thief), Vijay Anand experienced his first flop.It is said that the financer of that film intentionly made it to be flopped by releasing this film in only one show and that too without publicity.
  He bounced back with "Johnny Mera Naam" (1970), which grabbed the top spot at the box office in 1970. It starred Dev Anand and Hema Malini. Vijay Anand won two Filmfare Awards, one for editing and the other one for his screenplay.
In 1971 another film  "Tere Mere Sapne" (1971) based on the A.J. Cronin's novel "The Citadel." He also played a supporting role as an alcoholic doctor. His acting was appreciated in that film,the film was not a major hit.
 His subsequent films like "Blackmail" (1973), "Chhupa Rustom" (1973), "Bullet" (1976) as a director were major disappointments.
In the mid seventies he was more inclined tqwards acting in films, He acted in two major hit films, Kora Kagaz(1974) and Main Tulsi Tere Aangan ki (1978),
 In 1997, his older brother Chetan Anand's death devastated him. In 2001, he took over as the new censor board chief after Asha Parekh finished out her controversial three year term.
 His first marriage was with Loveleen, a marriage which took place when Vijay Anand was influenced by Rajneesh,and Lovleen had come to interview him for Russian Times, and wanted to marry him. This marriage was later dissolved by Rajneesh himself, when the couple could not go together. His second marriage was with Sushma Kohli, his sister's daughter. They have a son, Vaibhav,
He died on February 23, 2004 due to a heart attack that time he was in the process of making another film with brother Dev Anand.
My Tribute to him
Song from Nau Do Gyarah 1957

Song from Kala Baazar 1960

Song from Tere Ghar Ke Samne 1963

Song from Guide 1965

Song from Jewel Thief 1967

Song from Teesri  Manzil 1967

Song from Johny Mera Naam 1970

Song from Tere Mere Sapne 1971

Song from Blackmail 1973

Song from Chhupa Rustam 1973

Song from Kora Kagaz 1974

Song from Bullet 1976

Song from Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki  1978

Song from Ram Balram  1980

Song from Rajput  1982

Saturday, 21 January 2017

GEETA BALI-The Spontaneous and Expressive Star of Golden Era

Geeta Baali started her film career as a child actress, at the age of 12, with the film The Cobbler. She made her debut as a heroine in Badnaami (1946).
Born in Sargodha, Punjab in 1930 as Harkirtan Kaur,  she lived with her parents and a sister in Amritsar.Their family moved to Mumbai sometime in the forties and a young Harkirtan Kaur started working in movies to supplement the family income, first as a child actor and later as a lead actress.

She became star with Baazi co starring Dev Anand.Before that her film Bawre Nain (1950) with Raj Kapoor was a hit and she got  rave reviews for her performance as a village belle".She also appeared in Anand Math 1952,The film starred Prithviraj KapoorBharat Bhushan Pradeep Kumar and Ajit in the lead. Pradeep Kumar made his debut in Hindi cinema, as did the film's music director Hemant Kumar.
 She became a star in the 1950s.She received a Filmfare Nomination as Best Actress for "Vachan" (1955) and another nomination as Best Supporting Actress for "Kavi" (1955).

 In 1955 she married Shammi Kapoor who was 2 years younger than her but not yet a star. Their passionate and romantic saga began in 1955 when Shammi and Geeta worked together in a film titled Rangeen Raatein. While shooting for it in Ranikhet ( a hill station) the two spent a lot of time together and soon fell in love. 
She contributed a lot to the making of Shammi Kapoor. She gave him his confidence and his personality. If you see the way Shammiji danced... that was Geeta Bali's personality,Interestingly, her personal commitments did not affect her career. She continued acting even after marriage. And ironically it was during one of her professional commitments that she contracted small pox.  Unfortunately, she died on January 21,1965 merely 15 days after picking up the disease.Geeta Bali left behind her husband Shammi Kapoor and their two small children. Geeta Bali was only 35 years old.
Despite a short career (that spanned hardly some 15 years or so), she managed to carve a niche for herself
.Here are my favourite songs picturised on Geeta Bali, in no particular order. The list is restricted to 15 songs because of real life time constraints
Song from Jaal

Sari Sari Rat Teri Yaad Satai

Song from Albela 1951

Song from Baradari 1955

Song from Baazi 1951

Song from Pocketmaar 1956

 Hum Pyaar Mein Jalne Walon Ko - Jailor [1958] 

Song from Jailor 1958

Song from Dulari

Song from Jaal 1952

Song from 

Song from Jaal 1952

Vande Mataram
Vande Mataram  from Anand Math 1952

Yeh Din Din Hai Khushi

Song from Jab Se Tumhe Dekha Hai (1963)

Jhuka jhuka ke nigahein 
Song from Miss Coca Cola (Audio Only)

Chanda chandni mein jab chamke

Song from Muzrim 1958